Acne is one of the most embarrassing and stressful skin problems for teenagers as well as adults. Using Tea tree oil for acne is a wonderful natural remedy for getting healthy skin that is free from pimples. The tea tree oil has antibacterial and antiseptic properties and results in reduced inflammation. It also prevents infection, so if it is used to remove acne its further development is stopped. When used regularly it can make your skin healthy.
Most of the creams and gels for treating pimples and acne have benzoyl peroxide which is a chemical compound that helps to get rid of dead skin and reduces inflammation. Tea tree oil is recommended for people who are looking for a natural alternative for treating acne. We will discuss what tea tree oil is, how to use tea tree oil for acne, scars and uses for tea tree oil.
What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil is a pleasant smelling essential oil extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca Alternifolia, a tree native to Australia. It is obtained by the steam distillation of the leaves and has been used as a topical treatment for centuries by the aboriginals of Australia. The oil has antibacterial and cosmetic properties. Tea tree oil is used to treat several health and beauty problems and is therefore used as a main ingredient in many gels, shampoos, lotions, creams, mouthwashes and toothpastes.
How Tea Tree Oil Helps Acne
Acne also known as acne vulgaris is the occurrence of infection or inflammation in the oil or sebaceous glands of the skin. Acne refers to red pimples, zits, blackheads and whiteheads on the face, chest and back. It has several natural properties that help in clearing acne and its symptoms and has been clinically tested to be effective against acne.
It contains terepin-4-ol which has antimicrobial properties, so when it is applied to the affected skin, the skin-dwelling bacteria (Propionibacterium acne) that cause acne are destroyed by it.
It’s a natural antiseptic that has antifungal and anti-microbial properties helps prevent acne and make it an excellent alternative to harsh chemicals.
It penetrates the skin to unblock the sebaceous glands. The pores are disinfected and pimples, whiteheads, zits and blackheads are dried out. Further outbreaks of acne are also prevented.
The antiseptic property helps in removing the damaged skin cells.
It also controls the oil production by the sebaceous glands and balances skin.
It is an effective remedy to treat cystic acne naturally and penetrates the skin to unblock the oil glands, disinfects the pores and dries out blemishes.
Research on Tea Tree Oil for Acne:
1) Australian Research on Tea Tree Oil
The Department of Dermatology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia conducted a study in which effectiveness and tolerance of 5% tea tree oil was compared to 5% benzoyl peroxide. The study was conducted on 124 people who had mild to moderate acne and in one group tea tree oil was used while in the other benzoyl peroxide was used. As per the study, there was a reduction in both inflamed and non-inflamed acne in both cases. It took time to work initially, however proved to be an effective solution with fewer side effects. 79% of the people who used benzoyl peroxide had side effects such as itching, stinging, smoldering, burning and dryness.
2) Study to Compare Placebo and Tea Tree Oil
Another study was conducted in 2007 that involved 60 people with mild to moderate acne. The people were treated with 5% tea tree oil or placebo for 45 days. The researchers found that tea tree oil is better in reducing the severity and number of acne injuries.
Quantity that Needs to be Used
As it is a topical treatment and for external use only, it should never be taken by mouth. It is recommended to follow the instructions on the label or consult your doctor for the required amount that needs to be used. The concentration of the oil varies depending on the condition of your skin. Usually 5% oil gel is used for acne treatment.
Should Undiluted Oil be Applied to Acne?
If you apply a concentrated solution on your skin it may result in skin irritation, redness, and over drying. It may also cause itching and blistering in some cases if applied without diluting it. The recommended concentration for best results is 5 percent tea tree solution. The solution can be prepared by adding 95 parts of water to 5 parts of oil.
Commercial Products that Contain Tea Tree Oil
The topical acne products can be easily purchased online. They are also available in food stores in the skin care aisle or drug and cosmetic stores. There are gels which contain tropical tree oil and other herbal antiseptics. Some products also have benzoyl peroxide with tea tree oil.
Several products containing this such as cleansers, moisturizers, soaps, spot gels and lotions that are easily available in stores as well as online.
The gel penetrates deep in the skin and dries acne. It is ideal for treating blackheads, whiteheads and acne as it unblocks the oil glands. If the gel is applied twice a day on the affected area it results in clear skin free of pimples. Aloe Vera gel can also be used for good results.
Tea soap can also be used to cleanse and disinfect the skin gently. The soap stops acne breakouts and prevents more in the future.
It helps in treating cystic acne and has antibacterial properties. It unblocks the sebaceous glands and disinfects the pores to dry out the imperfections.
Selecting the Best Tea Tree Oil for Acne
There are several brands of tea tree oil available in the market and they can also be purchased online. It is an affordable and natural solution for acne. There are various products that are available which contain this such as shampoos, lotions, moisturizers, etc.
It is better to use 100% pure Australian tea tree oil from reputed brands as there are numerous diluted and non-veritable oils available. Some of the well-known brands of tea tree oil are:
All Thursday Plantation products which contain pure Australian tea tree oil
All Desert Essence Branded products which contains only pure Australian tea tree oil
Tea Tree Wonders which, too, offers pure Australian tea tree oil
The best brands available across the globe are Eden’s Garden, Plant Therapy, Essential Vitality, Young Living, Aura Cacia, CVS Melaleuca Alternifolia, etc.
Why 100% Tea Tree Oil must be used for Acne
Though 100% oil costs a little more still it is advisable to use it for the treatment of acne. This is because it does not contain any additives that may cause an unfavourable response on your skin. The result of 100% tea tree oil is best and is quite effective in controlling the acne and preventing future breakouts. It is a gift of nature and an amazing option compared to harsh chemical substances that may harm your skin.
Tips to use Tea Tree Oil for Acne
Add the tea tree oil drops to your bath in order to treat the acne on your back (bacne) and chest.
Small amounts of tea tree oil should be used so it can be absorbed by the skin.
It should not be used by people who have eczema.
Do a patch test before using the tea tree oil and avoid using it in the case you develop an allergic rash, itching or blistering.
Use only undiluted tea tree oil to avoid symptoms such as dryness, blistering or irritation.
Never ingest the tea tree oil.
To get additional benefits, mix the tea tree oil with moisturizers, cleansers and face wash.
If you have sensitive skin, avoid using This.
All tea tree oil products should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.
How to use Tea Tree Oil for Acne
It can be used in several ways to get rid of acne. It is advisable to use 100% pure, raw, natural tea tree oil for treating acne. The various methods to use this in order to get rid of acne quickly are as follows:
1) Direct Application of Tea Tree Oil
Direct application of Tea tree oil is effective for treatment of cystic acne. This can reduce redness and swelling on the acne as it possesses natural anti- bacterial properties. You can pour a few drops of tea tree oil on a cotton pad or ball and apply it on the affected area. The oil must be applied to clean and dry skin. This needs to be left on for 3- 4 hours or overnight for best results. The small amount of oil penetrates the skin and unblocks the oil glands, disinfects the pores and dries out whiteheads, blackheads and pimples.
2) Diluted Tea Tree Oil
Diluted tea tree oil containing 1 part oil and 9 parts water can be used to treat cystic acne. You can rinse the face with water and pat it dry. Then apply the diluted tea tree oil on the affected area using a cotton ball. Leave it for few minutes and rinse with water. Apply moisturizer after that. For sensitive skin Aloe Vera can be used instead of water.
3) Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera soothes the skin due to its anti-inflammatory properties. You can mix a few drops of tea tree oil into two teaspoons Aloe Vera gel. You can apply the oil to the affected area and leave it for a few hours and then rinse with water.
4) Mix Tea Tree Oil with Honey
Honey has antibacterial and healing properties. A few drops of oil can be added to two teaspoons of honey. Then it can be applied on the affected area and left for a few hours or overnight. It can be rinsed with water and repeated for best results.
5) As a Face Mask
3-4 drops of oil can be mixed in 2 tablespoons of green clay powder and water to make a paste. It can be applied evenly on your face and neck. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes till the clay dries. Then rinse it off with warm water and pat it dry with a towel.
6) Tea Tree Oil and Jojoba Oil Face Mask
You can also prepare a face mask by mixing 3-5 drops of oil, 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil and half of a finely chopped tomato to make a paste. Apply it to affected area and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with water and pat it dry with a towel.
7) Tea Tree Oil and Yogurt Face Mask
Yogurt is good for irritated skin and also reduces redness. You can mix 5 drops of tea tree oil into ¼ cup of plain yogurt and apply the paste on the affected area. Leave it for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse with warm water. 2-3 drops of tea tree oil, 1 spoon of yogurt and 1 spoon of honey can also be used to treat acne.
8) Homemade Scrub with Tea Tree Oil
This method can be used to treat cystic acne. Mix ½ cup of sugar, ¼ cup sesame or olive oil, 1 tablespoon of honey and 10 to 12 drops of tea tree oil. Apply this scrub to a damp face applying in a circular motion for 2-5 minutes. Rinse with warm water and apply regularly for best results. The scrub can be made in large quantities and stored in an airtight container for future use.
This is a method to combats stubborn pimples. 2- 6 drops of tea tree oil can be added to moisturizer and cleanser and mixed well. The eyes should be avoided while applying it.
10) Mix Tea Tree Oil in Egg White
You can whisk 4 drops of tea tree oil with one egg white. It can be applied as a mask on the affected area and needs to be left on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
11) Massage with Tea Tree Oil
First wash the face and pat it dry with towel. Mix a teaspoon of tea tree oil with 3 tablespoons each of Aloe Vera, coconut oil and olive oil. First cover your face with a washcloth soaked in hot water so that the pores can be opened. Then massage the paste gently using circular motions. Leave it on your face until it dries and repeat this twice a day for best results.
12) Use Tea Tree Oil with Olive Oil
Olive oil has nutrients that promote skin health and has anti-bacterial properties. Mix 3 drops of tea tree oil to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cleanse the skin with this mixture as it wipes away make up and dirt and leaves the skin clean as well as acne-free.
13) Tea Tree Oil with Witch Hazel for Acne
Add a few drops of tea tree oil to hazel and stir this solution well. Apply this to the affected part of skin. Witch hazel has properties to dry your skin so do not overuse it. It is also recommended to stay away from sunlight as it makes the skin more sensitive to UV rays.
14) Spot Treatment for Acne using Tea tree oil
For spot treatments mix Aloe Vera gel and a few drops of tea tree oil and apply this mixture on the acne spots. Let it dry and wash it off with water. The gel can be stored in small lip gloss tubes for future use.
Risks of Using Tea Tree Oil
The tea tree oil for acne is recommended for topical use only. Contact with the eyes must be avoided and should never be swallowed. It is toxic and even if a small amount is consumed can result in rashes, nausea, confusion and also coma.
It should not be used by children or by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
In some people, it is known to cause allergic reactions such as redness, itching and blisters. It is known to aggravate skin conditions such as eczema. It should not be used in large quantities on the skin as it can cause several side effects.
How Tea Tree Oil can be used for Cystic Acne
Cystic acne is the most painful types of acne and it is difficult to treat it as well. It also causes severe scars on your skin. Tea tree oil helps in reducing the inflammation and also kills the bacteria causing these cysts. For treating cystic acne add 1 part of tea tree oil to 15 parts of water and mix it. Apply this mixture only on the affected area and avoid it on the healthy skin three times a day.
How Tea Tree Oil can be used to Treat Acne Scars
It can also be used to treat acne scars when mixed with certain ingredients.
1) Baking Soda and Tea Tree Oil for Acne Scars
Baking soda exfoliates scarred tissue and skin cells and activates its natural healing properties. Thus it helps in fading away the acne scars. Add 1 part baking soda to 2 parts of water and add 2 to 3 drops of this. Mix the ingredients and apply on the scar in a circular motion. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off. Apply daily for best results.
2) Aloe Vera, Vitamin E and Tea Tree Oil
Aloe Vera facilitates the skin healing process and when mixed with Vitamin E, the healing process is faster. Vitamin E penetrates deep into the skin and heals the scar from the base. Get 2 tablespoon Aloe Vera gel, 1 Vitamin E capsule and 2-3 drops of tea tree oil. Mix the contents well and apply on the scarred area. Leave it on the skin for 30 minutes or overnight. Wash it with cold water and apply every day.
Uses for Tea Tree Oil:
It has been used traditionally by the aboriginals for a long time. They used the leaves of the tea tree to heal cuts, burns and skin infections by crushing the leaves and applying them to the affected areas. The terpenoids contained in the tea tree oil such as terpinen-4-ol are responsible for the antiseptic and antifungal activity. The other conditions for which tea tree oil is used in addition to acne are:
1) Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a skin infection that has symptoms such as cracks, flakes, peeling and red skin between the toes or the sides of the feet. 10% topical application of tea tree oil solution is comparable to the 1% tonaflate cream to relieve the symptoms of athlete’s foot. In order to treat the infection, 25 to 50% tea tree oil concentration is needed however it is not effective when compared to medications such as clotrimazole and terbinafine.
2) Fungal Infection of the Toenails
In order to help fight fungal infection in toenails, onychomycosis 100% oil solution needs to be applied twice a day for 6 months. The solution can be applied using a cotton swab. It is comparable to the daily application of clotrimazole 1% solution. Lower concentrations of oil are not effective.
If a shampoo containing 5% tea tree oil is applied for 3 minutes for 4 weeks the lesions, scalp itchiness and greasiness are reduced along with the dandruff.
4) Vaginal Infections
As per studies tea tree oil is beneficial for women with vaginal infections such as trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis and candidiasis.
Thrush is also known as oropharyngeal candidiasis and is a yeast infection in the mouth and throat. People with AIDS/HIV are more prone to Thrush due to weak immune system and they do not respond to medications such as fluconazole. It can be swished and expelled from mouth. This needs to be done for 2 to 4 weeks.
It repels lice and its combination with lavender kills lice eggs and also reduces the number of live lice.
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